1996 Avalon Front Strut Replacement - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
1st Generation (1995-1999) Specific discussion of the first generation Toyota Avalon

 
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#1 Old 06-11-2009, 03:59 PM
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Question 1996 Avalon Front Strut Replacement

Hello All,

I'm needing to replace my front struts on my '96 Avalon with 152,000 miles. Question: Should I go with the complete units that Monroe offer ($225-$250) or go with KYB struts, boots, mounts and use the original spring? Would I save much money that way? I do see that compared to Monroe and KYB for just the strut alone, the KYBs are about %40 higher. Should I assume KYB will give me a firmer ride?

Also, how much time should I allow for replacing the two front struts? I'm a competent shade tree mechanic but have never done a strut job.

Thanks for your insight,
Jack
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#2 Old 06-11-2009, 09:14 PM
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I dont know exactly everything between the comparisons but take a look at this thread it should help you

And dont worry if it says camry, because they use the same suspension as the avalon

Gen 3 Suspension Options
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#3 Old 06-12-2009, 11:02 PM
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Well, my father is an ASE mechanic and he had the right tools for the job. Me and him were able to do it, was about 2~ hours. I do a lot of light repairs myself, and as long as you have the tools it does not seem like a huge task to take on. Keep in mind you are going to need an alignment when the suspension is modified.

I just put on new Monroe mounts, Moog coil springs and KYB struts. I must say I like it a lot! I can tell the performance of the struts seem to change on temperature. But I've just installed them and the temperature in lovely Illinois has been swinging from 40 to 90 degrees recently.

Not to mention the new coil springs are awesome, the car rides 2"+ inches higher now. I had to get new ones upon removing the passenger strut tower and discovering the spring was shattered.

Changed @ 224,000 miles. Ran about $350-400

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#4 Old 06-13-2009, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Jigg007 View Post
Well, my father is an ASE mechanic and he had the right tools for the job. Me and him were able to do it, was about 2~ hours. I do a lot of light repairs myself, and as long as you have the tools it does not seem like a huge task to take on. Keep in mind you are going to need an alignment when the suspension is modified.

I just put on new Monroe mounts, Moog coil springs and KYB struts. I must say I like it a lot! I can tell the performance of the struts seem to change on temperature. But I've just installed them and the temperature in lovely Illinois has been swinging from 40 to 90 degrees recently.

Not to mention the new coil springs are awesome, the car rides 2"+ inches higher now. I had to get new ones upon removing the passenger strut tower and discovering the spring was shattered.

Changed @ 224,000 miles. Ran about $350-400
Why do you need an alignment? I know on my 99 Avalon you don't do anything to the alignment when you remove/reinstall the strut. Moog springs are designed to be exact replacements. Was you car riding low because your spring was broken? Is you car riding higher now because you got custom springs to raise your car higher than stock? Finally, where did you find the Moog springs? Thanks for your help.

Last edited by artbuc; 06-13-2009 at 05:10 AM.
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#5 Old 06-13-2009, 08:39 AM
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The strut piston is keyed where it attaches to the strut mount, so there can be some play there. Also I replaced coil springs that were 14 years old with new ones, to where they don't line up the same. I got Moog springs from Lee auto.

Pauly Toyota in crystal lake charges $80 for a 4 wheel alignment. Not like the $120 at the local shop I used to go too. :\

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#6 Old 06-14-2009, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by artbuc View Post
Why do you need an alignment? I know on my 99 Avalon you don't do anything to the alignment when you remove/reinstall the strut. Moog springs are designed to be exact replacements. Was you car riding low because your spring was broken? Is you car riding higher now because you got custom springs to raise your car higher than stock? Finally, where did you find the Moog springs? Thanks for your help.
The reason you need an alignment is because the camber changes with new struts. The new struts will have higher compression and rebound than the old ones. This makes the car sit a little taller thus slightly changing the camber. Toe isn't usually affected as much but chances are good its been a while since the car's had an alignment. KYB's and Monroe's are both reputable brands and both are OEM spec. Its pretty much your choice or preference. If your DIY, a set of spring compressors is the only special tool you'll need. Get new mounts, boots and struts. You can use your old spring so long as its not cracked or rotted. Inspect your springs for corrosion or damage before you order the struts.

1996 Paseo 5E-FE 270,xxx miles - LR parking brake seized. Time for new cables
1993 Camry LE 5S-FE 281,xxx miles - Time to re-seal spark plug tubes. Ugh I hate winter...
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Last edited by 96paseo; 06-14-2009 at 03:55 PM.
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#7 Old 06-15-2009, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by 96paseo View Post
The reason you need an alignment is because the camber changes with new struts. The new struts will have higher compression and rebound than the old ones. This makes the car sit a little taller thus slightly changing the camber. Toe isn't usually affected as much but chances are good its been a while since the car's had an alignment. KYB's and Monroe's are both reputable brands and both are OEM spec. Its pretty much your choice or preference. If your DIY, a set of spring compressors is the only special tool you'll need. Get new mounts, boots and struts. You can use your old spring so long as its not cracked or rotted. Inspect your springs for corrosion or damage before you order the struts.
My 99 Avalon doesn't have a camber adjustment, at least not on the front. The Factory Manual says so you can use special shoulder bolts to adjust the camber, but I haven't found any local shops who have ever done that. The amount of camber adjustment you can do with the "normal slack" in the strut mount bolts is zilch.

Last edited by artbuc; 06-15-2009 at 05:21 AM.
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#8 Old 06-15-2009, 04:54 PM
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My 99 Avalon doesn't have a camber adjustment, at least not on the front. The Factory Manual says so you can use special shoulder bolts to adjust the camber, but I haven't found any local shops who have ever done that. The amount of camber adjustment you can do with the "normal slack" in the strut mount bolts is zilch.
And here I thought it had the plate on the knuckle. I agree that the strut bolts don't offer any adjustment. Once the bolts are in, there is little if any play.

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1993 Camry LE 5S-FE 281,xxx miles - Time to re-seal spark plug tubes. Ugh I hate winter...
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#9 Old 06-15-2009, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 96paseo View Post
And here I thought it had the plate on the knuckle. I agree that the strut bolts don't offer any adjustment. Once the bolts are in, there is little if any play.
Can't tell if you are joking or not lol lol. Does the 96 Avalon have camber adjustment? If it does, I wonder why it changed on my 99? Guess it was a cost-cutting move?
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#10 Old 06-21-2009, 09:14 PM
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Thumbs up KYBs Were Installed Today!

Thanks, gentlemen, for all your replies. I replace the front struts with KYBs and Monroe strut mounts. The springs were perfect as well as all the rubber parts. I see now that my stabilizer bar bushings are shot, however. I've started a new thread for any recommendations and procedure. I need to replace these parts before I test drive the car.

Thanks from Austin, TX,
Jack
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#11 Old 06-23-2009, 07:48 PM
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Thumbs up Back on the road!

Hello Fellows,

I've installed the Mood sway bar bushings and the KYBs struts are installed, and the car rides like a dream. The knocking is gone on the driver's side! The driver's side strut (original OEM 152,000) had no dampening at all. I could grab the strut rod and move it up and down through the strut body cylinder with almost no resistance. Amazing.

Thanks for all the helpful replies,
Jack
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